•  
  •  
 

Abstract

JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court, in which CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, and JUSTICES BREYER, STEVENS, and THOMAS joined. CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS filed a concurring opinion, in which JUSTICE THOMAS joined. JUSTICE SCALIA filed a dissenting opinion, in which JUSTICE ALITO joined. JUSTICE GINSBERG filed a dissenting opinion, in which JUSTICE SOUTER joined. Since this Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973,1 we received numerous requests to reconsider the validity of that ruling or to otherwise limit its application. Petitioner renews this request, asking us to discard our much maligned and now limited Roe doctrine. After struggling with this issue for nearly forty years, we are struck by the wisdom of Justice O'Connor's statement, "[1]iberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt."'2 We could not agree more and, therefore, lay the issue of abortion law to rest by overruling this Court's prior decision in Roe v. Wade. This opinion follows in three parts. First, we consider Petitioner's procedural posture and the constitutional challenge of Roe v. Wade. Second, we lay out a historical roadmap of abortion jurisprudence from Roe v. Wade to the present. These cases reveal an unreliable and certainly unpredictable standard in the abortion context. Finally, we conclude with the rationale to support our decision to overrule Roe v. Wade.